The annual Farming For Nature Gathering and network day will be held on Saturday of the October Bank Holiday, in the Burren, Co.Clare as part of the Burren Winterage Weekend each year. This will be a day of farm walks and panel discussions held between 10am-5pm, followed by entertainment (with very special guests) and the annual Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards from 7-9.30pm. This event allows us to come together to celebrate farmers across Ireland who are striving to work alongside nature, and to share ideas on how these great custodians might best be supported at a time of great challenge and opportunity. All farmers and other interested parties who want to be part of this discussion and know more about farming for nature are welcome to attend.
See last year’s outline below:
Farming For Nature Gathering
Saturday 29th October (10am-10pm)
Corofin Community Hall (Eircode V95 RD88)
Please tick the box on the registration form if going on the walk – we will provide details nearer the time.
Session 1: Farming for Nature in the Burren
WHAT: Farm Walk led by local farmers
WHEN: 10am-12pm WHERE: Out on the Burren, location provided when booking
WHAT: Biomass to Biochar for Farm Bioeconomy EIP AGRI Project with Bernard Carey*
Bernard will discuss this innovative project and a cutting-edge Mobile Pyrolysis Unit will be on display.
WHEN: 12-2pm WHERE: Corofin Community Hall
WHAT: Transhumance – Winterage as part of a global heritage ‘movement’
Digital display of photographs and videos of farmers, livestock and landscapes from across Europe
WHEN: 11am – 5pm WHERE: Corofin Community Centre
WHAT: Lunch space available WHEN: 12.30 – 1.30pm WHERE: Corofin Community Centre
Hot water, teabags etc with scones available – Bring your own take away cup & lunch if you want
Please register between 1-2pm as registration for the FFN workshops.
Sessions 2 & 3 WHAT: Panels
WHEN: 1.30– 5pm WHERE: Corofin Community Centre
Organized with support from DAFM and the National Parks & Wildlife Service
Session 2: The National Herd – meat, milk or methane – or more?
1.30pm-3pm 4 speakers to be interviewed by Brendan Dunford (5 mins each – followed by Q&A with the audience)
Mark Gillanders– Cattle as the engine for nutrient recycling
Nia O’Malley – Cattle, invasive species control and fire prevention
Clive Bright – Beef, biodiversity and soil health
Oliver Nagle – Cattle, communities and cultural heritage
Hot water, teabags etc with scones available – Bring your own take away cup if you want
Session 3: Food & energy security at a time of crisis – reimagining the role of the Irish farmer.
3.30-5pm 5 speakers to be interviewed by Hannah Quinn Mulligan (5 mins each – followed by Q&A with the audience)
Maurice Deasy – the role of species-rich swards in reducing N use
Norman Dunne – growing crops with minimal external inputs
Jim Cronin – growing vegetables for local markets
Fergal Anderson – Meeting our needs locally
Darina Allen – The ripple of local to national
Dinner Break & Film shows
Welcome to purchase food in Corofin. However, hot water, teabags etc with scones will be available – Bring your own take away dinner if you want to stay at the hall.
Watch this year’s 5 shortlisted public vote Ambassador films will be on show in rotation in a room at the Hall. We welcome farmers and others to watch and contribute to any Q&As.
In Conversation with James Rebanks and Jane Clarke
WHAT: Book readings and in conversation with writers and poet.
WHEN: 6.30-7.45pm WHERE: Corofin Community Centre
Free for FFN Workshop attendees, pre-registration for non workshop attendees.
The National Farming for Nature Awards 2022
WHEN: 8pm-9.30pm WHERE: Corofin Community Centre
Presentation of Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards and Announcement of Public Vote winner . Facilitated by Ella McSweeney
Gathering at Bofey Quinn’s Pub afterwards.
Organized with support from the Bord Bia Origin Green Programme
Sunday 30th October
Community Cattle Drive
12pm The Annual Community Cattle Drive. Booking required.
Don’t forget the hour change!
Between 11 and 2pm you are invited to join local businesses in a food tasting as part of the Winterage cattle drive.
Farming For Nature Ambassador: €10
General public: €20
This includes refreshments but does not include meals or accommodation. Please arrange separately.
The annual Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards (8-9pm in same venue) is free and open to anyone and everyone to join.
This event requires prior booking with a nominal charge attached in order to prevent no-shows and to contribute to the unfunded cost of Farming For Nature in hosting this event.
Details of other events happening at the Burren Winterage Weekend can be found on the below site. Booking on this Farming For Nature network day does not necessary give entry to other events over the weekend. Please see the booking details of these events on the above site.
More up to date information is available on www.burrenwinterage.com
View a quick overview of the 2021 Burren Winterage School and Cattle Drive here:
Burren Winterage School 2021
Below are the recordings from the different panel discussions held on the Farming For Nature Workshop day in Kinvara on the 23rd October 2021. All the panel speakers are Farming For Nature Ambassadors.
This 1st session was with farmers Gerard Walshe, Bridget Murphy and Michael Hickey talking about ‘High Nature Value farmer in Practice.’ Facilitators were Drs Brendan Dunford and James Moran.
This 2nd session was with farmers Padraig Corcoran, Jane Shackleton, and Tommy Earley talking about ‘Paying for Ecosystem Services.’ Facilitators were Drs Brendan Dunford and James Moran.
This 3rd session was Thomas Stack, John McHugh, Mimi Crawford and Gearoid Maher talking about ‘Diversification in Dairy.’ Facilitator was Hannah Quinn Mulligan.
This 4th session was with farmers Thomas O’Connor, Andrew Bergin and Thomas Fouhy talking about ‘Producing low input nutrient dense food’ Facilitator was Sean McGloin.
If you missed the Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards 2021, you can now watch it here:
What others think about the Farming For Nature Workshop day
It is great to be able to meet all these people who think the same way as we do. Very often, as a farmer, you work in isolation, especially if you do something a bit different from the “norm”. It gives a great boost to know there are a lot more farmers who do the same thing in their own corner and to feel supported in your ideas.
(McCall Family, Farming For Nature Ambassador 2018)
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